Spanish Hogfish

Spanish Hogfish (Bodianus rufus) as seen in our Sea & Me exhibit.

The Spanish Hogfish is a tropical species commonly found around coral reefs in the western Atlantic Ocean. Adults inhabit rocky or coral reefs where they feed on crustaceans, mollusks, and sea urchins. Juvenile hogfish will often attend to reef “cleaning stations,” areas where they will nibble parasites off of other marine species. The hogfish will spontaneously change their sex depending on their size and the needs of the local population. As with many tropical fish species, the coloring between adults and juveniles can differ dramatically. Young fish are more brightly colored, with a purplish-blue back and a golden-yellow body and fins. The eye is black ringed in orange. Adults are less vibrant. They are typically more brown or copper-colored and the spines along their dorsal fins are more prominent.

Range & Habitat

The Hogfish is found throughout the Caribbean Sea, including southern Florida, the Bahamas, Bermuda and the coast of Brazil. They congregate around reefs at depths of 10 to 100 feet (3 to 30 m).

Conservation Status

Common.

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